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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Insulated Apparel to Tensile Membrane Structures

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Insulated Apparel
In the past, workers exposed to extreme cold-weather conditions would combat low temperatures with multiple layers and thick garments that restricted movement, productivity, and endurance, while also compromising safety. Today, scientific advancements in insulated apparel provide workers in cold weather conditions access to parkas, coveralls, vests, and pants that better protect them from the dangers found in outdoor and cold-environment occupations.

A new American National Standard (ANS) from the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) provides apparel manufacturers, purchasers, and wearers with parameters whereby cold weather clothing can be measured, certified, and specified, so employees can choose the right workwear for their needs. ANSI/ISEA 201-2012, Classification of Insulating Apparel Used in Cold Work Environments, establishes classification requirements for occupational apparel insulation performance in low temperatures, and provides laundry and work duty cycles based on the garments' expected lifetime. In addition to a garment's thermal performance and wash durability, ANSI/ISEA 201-2012 covers other aspects related to environmental conditions and wearer comfort considerations that may contribute to selecting the appropriate insulating apparel.

ISEA, an ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member, is non-profit organization dedicated to personal protective equipment and technologies - equipment and systems that enable people to do work in hazardous environments. Its member companies are world leaders in the design, manufacture, testing and application of protective clothing and equipment used in factories, construction sites, hospitals and clinics, farms, schools, laboratories, emergency response, and in the home.

Tensile Membrane Structures
Designers and architects use tension membrane structures to create unique geometric configurations that serve as lightweight and cost-effective construction elements for modular structures and existing, new, or standalone buildings. Used as stadiums, exhibition halls, warehouses, shading, roofing, and other permanent or temporary structures, tension membrane structures allow architects to address complex and functional challenges while creating buildings of aesthetic significance.

To ensure these structures meet required safety specifications, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member, recently published ASCE 55-10, Tensile Membrane Structures. This ANS provides minimum criteria for the design and performance of membrane-covered cable and rigid member structures, including frame structures, collectively known as tensile membrane structures.

ASCE is a non-profit membership organization that works to advance technology, encourage lifelong learning, develop civil engineering leaders, and advocate infrastructure and environmental stewardship to advance civil engineering and serve the public good.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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